Last week I started sharing five key reasons why Raila Amolo Odinga gets my vote for president in the March 4, 2013 general election. I was only able to cover two points so today I share the rest.
Let me start with a quick run-through of my first two points. One is that the Prime Minister is the only candidate amongst the top five aspirants who is not selling ‘grievance politics’ in his campaign. Raila Odinga is not trying to manipulate ethnic fault lines, inter-community tensions and/or cultural differences amongst tribes, in efforts to win votes and/or ring-fence communities away from other candidates. In fact he is going out of his way to reach out to everyone, with one common message everywhere: ‘Kenya is one nation made up of 40 million individuals of diverse backgrounds all seeking to better their lives. Such prosperity will only happen if all these Kenyans Unite beyond their tribes, gender, religion, age-groups, etc and work together harmoniously towards the achievement of Vision 2030.’
The second reason was the Constitution. Hon Raila Odinga has made a commitment to fully implement Kenya’s new Constitution; a commitment that even his worst enemies find undisputable. Actually he is the only candidate who has made implementing the constitution a key plank of his campaign. He is also the only candidate who has not been linked with attempts to amend it so far.
Now to my other three reasons:
Raila Odinga is a fervent adherent of the gospel of Vision 2030. In his campaign he has assured Kenyans that the 10 years of his government (2013 to 2023) will see a strengthening of the infrastructure initiated under President Kibaki. He will achieve this through increased budgetary allocation as well as an improved policy and regulatory environment to attract private sector participation. It should be noted that it is under his tenure as Minister of Roads that Vision 2030 flagship projects like the Thika Super Highway were initiated, despite great resistance from unscrupulous developers who had encroached on road reserves.
Still on the economy, Raila promises that his government will construct a modern, electric, international standard gauge, high speed railway system to link key cities and towns along the Northern Corridor for rapid transit of passengers and bulky goods. This will also protect our roads and lower costs for businesses. He has also promised to develop a light railway transport network for Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu to ease traffic congestion in these cities. He says he will also complete the three international Airports due in Lamu, Isiolo and Lokichoggio as well as address the high electricity tariffs to the manufacturing industry so that Kenyan goods can be competitive locally and abroad. Raila’s government also promises to look at ways of exploiting alternative sources of energy, including the power capacities of bagasse, solar, wind, coal and bio-gas.